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White House, State Department condemn Iran on pastor's execution orders
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani shown in an Iranian prison.
February 23rd, 2012
07:59 PM ET

White House, State Department condemn Iran on pastor's execution orders

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian Christian charged with leaving Islam, has received a local trial courts final verdict, according to sources close to his legal team, and may now be executed for leaving Islam.

Jodran Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, said he was informed on Monday by the pastor's legal team that the final execution order had been issued. At this point, said Sekulow, the pastor could be executed without the legal team's knowledge.

The White House issued a pointed statement on Thursday, strongly condemning the reports and renewed calls for Iranian authorities to release the pastor.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Christianity • Iran

Sen. Marco Rubio's religious journey: Catholic to Mormon to Catholic to Baptist and Catholic
February 23rd, 2012
04:50 PM ET

Sen. Marco Rubio's religious journey: Catholic to Mormon to Catholic to Baptist and Catholic

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - A new wrinkle emerged Thursday in the autobiography of a rising Republican star: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, was once a Mormon.  Rubio, a Cuban-American who has played up his Catholic roots on the campaign trail and today attends Catholic churches as well as a Southern Baptist megachurch, was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a young boy.

Rubio's attendance in the church was little-known and made a splash when details of a forthcoming memoir were reported Thursday by the Miami Herald and the website BuzzFeed.

Thursday afternoon, Rubio's spokesman elaborated on his complex journey of faith.

"He had already planned on discussing his faith journey in his memoir," Alex Conant said. "His faith journey was part of the pitch to the publishers.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Politics

Americans are polarized on religion but agreeable about it, authors say
Two authors describe Americans' ability to get along with people of different religions as the 'Aunt Susan effect.'
February 23rd, 2012
03:17 PM ET

Americans are polarized on religion but agreeable about it, authors say

Editor's note: Listen to the CNN Radio interview with Robert Putnam and David Campbell, authors "American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us":

By Katie Glaeser and Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

Forget the economy. Debate about contraception, abortion, same-sex marriage, even Satan, has attracted just as much attention on the presidential campaign trail in recent weeks.

While culture war issues make headlines galore, an exhaustive study of Americans' religious attitudes shows the public as a whole might not find the debate so enticing.

Robert Putnam and David Campbell are authors of the recent book "American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us" and say that Americans have a knack for being able to disagree about hot button issues without being disagreeable.

"America is very unusual in being able to live comfortably with the people we disagree with," says Putnam, a Harvard University professor who also wrote the book "Bowling Alone."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Books

February 23rd, 2012
04:34 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, February 23

By Dan Merica, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

CNN: For the rush on Ash Wednesday, ashes on the go
If not on this Ash Wednesday, groups of Methodists and Episcopalians took to the streets in cities across the country to make sure you got them, representing a growing ashes-on-the-run movement.

CNN: After Anne Frank baptism, Mormons vow to discipline members
Reacting to a report that well-known Holocaust victim Anne Frank had been baptized by proxy in a Mormon temple, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it is committed to disciplining members of its church who conducted such baptisms, which violate church policy.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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